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Old 02-08-2006, 02:44 PM   #16
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No Spoilers in my rant

Philip Pullman is an ass and a hypocrite. How he can possibly blast Lewis for trying to influence children about Christianity and then turn around and market his anti-religion diatribe towards children and young adults is beyond any understanding. I actually found the whole thing to be fairly offensive even though I am not very religious. I enjoyed the first two books quite a bit but the third went way too far. In addition, I feel that he sacrificed the story in the third book in his effort to cram his views down readers throats. And that is the greatest problem with the books, if he can't learn how to give a message and still tell a good story, then he is ultimately not that great of a writer. I have other problems with the book as well but don't want to go into it without spoilers.
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Old 02-08-2006, 06:38 PM   #17
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the giver or if you want a u2 book: u2 at the end of the world
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Old 02-08-2006, 07:12 PM   #18
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the giver or if you want a u2 book: u2 at the end of the world
I think that maybe, just maybe, Dalton was requesting books related to the fantasy genre.
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Old 02-08-2006, 07:25 PM   #19
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^sorry
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Old 02-09-2006, 03:58 AM   #20
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I think that maybe, just maybe, Dalton was requesting books related to the fantasy genre.

Yep you are right, that is exactly what he is requesting, it's quite clear actually. Doh!
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Old 02-10-2006, 11:48 AM   #21
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Ok, I just finished reading the Golden Compass and I wanted to post a few things before I move onto the next book.

1. I enjoyed the book very much. Thank you to all who recommended it!

2. I can’t really believe Pullman would criticize Lewis for any dogma in the Narnia series. I found the The Golden Compass to be every bit as didactic as the The Lion, the Witch, and The Wardrobe even if it was more subtle. In fact, it is very clear that The Golden Compass draws quite a bit of inspiration from Lewis’ space trilogy (which was intended for the same age group as TGC). It is important to remember, when looking at the Narnia books, that Lewis was writing for younger children. I have no problem black/white, right/wrong morals when talking to young children. I think it helps them and comforts them. We all know that they are going to grow and being to look at the subtleties of life and question the ‘facts’ around them – let them do it at their own pace.

3. Does anyone know if JJ Abrams ever mentioned these books as inspiration for Alias? Very similar in the family dynamics. It would be interesting to see.

4. At the end of the first book, I find myself still favoring the Harry Potter books and I think I know why …. I like the fact that Rowling writes like a woman. Yes, yes, I know that this delves into the deep, dark heart of stereotypes but bear with me here. Stereotypically men care more about ideas, while women care more about people. LOTR, Narnia, His Dark Material, and Harry Potter are all well written stories that have wonderful messages. The reason I prefer Potter more is that Rowling put much more effort into developing her characters. All those other books have wonderful characters, but they are a bit thin. Like they exist to express/represent an idea. Rowling doesn’t do that – at least not with her main characters. As a reader, you learn more and more about them as the story goes on. And as a reader, you learn the lessons and values that the characters learn as they learn it, as they feel it, and as they struggle to incorporate that into their “being” (I swear I realize that they are just make believe). For me that makes the Potter books stand out. She has lovingly developed not just a world of ideas and intrigue, but also a group of characters who are deep and infectious.


BTW – if you feel like I do about character development, the best book I have ever read is The Brothers K, by David James Duncan. The three brothers in that book are so finely nuanced and developed, that you almost feel that if you could just find them a body, they would be real people.

I’ll be back when I finish the Subtle Knive.

Thanks again!
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Old 02-13-2006, 04:20 PM   #22
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What, so now no one wants to discuss the books with me?

I'm almost finished with the subtle knife. Its good, but I don't think it is as good as the first. Full thoughs later...
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Old 02-13-2006, 04:35 PM   #23
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Originally posted by Dalton




4.At the end of the first book, I find myself still favoring the Harry Potter books and I think I know why …. I like the fact that Rowling writes like a woman. Yes, yes, I know that this delves into the deep, dark heart of stereotypes but bear with me here. Stereotypically men care more about ideas, while women care more about people. LOTR, Narnia, His Dark Material, and Harry Potter are all well written stories that have wonderful messages. The reason I prefer Potter more is that Rowling put much more effort into developing her characters. All those other books have wonderful characters, but they are a bit thin. Like they exist to express/represent an idea. Rowling doesn’t do that – at least not with her main characters. As a reader, you learn more and more about them as the story goes on. And as a reader, you learn the lessons and values that the characters learn as they learn it, as they feel it, and as they struggle to incorporate that into their “being” (I swear I realize that they are just make believe). For me that makes the Potter books stand out. She has lovingly developed not just a world of ideas and intrigue, but also a group of characters who are deep and infectious.


I find that what you’ve stated within the paragraph I’ve quoted is more to do with Rowling’s lack of subtlety concerning symbolism and metaphoric language at least in my opinion. In fact it could be argued that Rowling doesn’t really have the skill to convey the personality of any given character without resorting to strictly conventional descriptive terminology.

Although she does have a huge audience who are already familiar with the protagonists and antagonists so I doubt she’ll lose any sleep over that. All in all though I’m not fan of Rowling or Pullman (the man can write although I find myself being lectured to; too often within his work).


Meh.





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Old 02-13-2006, 04:43 PM   #24
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Dalton, finish all three Pullman books and then we'll talk. The third one changes everything.


Now I better re-read them all so I know what the hell I'm saying...
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Old 02-13-2006, 05:04 PM   #25
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I find that what you’ve stated within the paragraph I’ve quoted is more to do with Rowling’s lack of subtlety concerning symbolism and metaphoric language at least in my opinion. In fact it could be argued that Rowling doesn’t really have the skill to convey the personality of any given character without resorting to strictly conventional descriptive terminology.


Lack of subtlety like other mediocre authors like Austen & Hemmingway?
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Old 02-13-2006, 05:09 PM   #26
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Lack of subtlety like other mediocre authors like Austen & Hemmingway?
I’m sure you don’t rate Rowling that highly.

Although I’d assume that we have differing tastes in literature so there’s no point in pursuing a pissing match is there?



Also I apologise for sidetracking your thread.
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Old 02-13-2006, 05:32 PM   #27
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I’m sure you don’t rate Rowling that highly.

Although I’d assume that we have differing tastes in literature so there’s no point in pursuing a pissing match is there?


No, I don't rate Rowling that high, but you made a disparaging comment about her style that illustrated well my thoughts. But before I ‘whip it out’ let me clarify this: when you write about Rowling’s “lack of subtlety concerning symbolism and metaphoric language” are you more concerned with her STYLE of writing or CONTENT of writing. Your answer to that should bring us closer to a conversation….
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Old 02-13-2006, 05:50 PM   #28
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No, I don't rate Rowling that high, but you made a disparaging comment about her style that illustrated well my thoughts. But before I ‘whip it out’ let me clarify this: when you write about Rowling’s “lack of subtlety concerning symbolism and metaphoric language” are you more concerned with her STYLE of writing or CONTENT of writing. Your answer to that should bring us closer to a conversation….
For a start great style can't exist without great substance in my opinion. The comments that I made were more to do with her delivery of content and that is something I should have made clearer.

So I don't really see a need for you to “whip it out” as yours may be considerable longer.
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Old 02-13-2006, 06:54 PM   #29
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For a start great style can't exist without great substance in my opinion.

I would agree with that, but I think you and I may have different criteria for 'great substance'. Without a doubt the substance of a Lewis or Pullman novel will be philosophy (theology in this case). They both do philosophy very well, what they don't do well is empathy. I am struck, while reading their novels, how one dimensional many of their characters are. That makes sense, however, when you realize that their purpose in writing is to purporte a certain belief or system of beliefs.

I think Rowling offers a different sort of content. She is very light in philosophy, but very high in empathy. She does not write to anything much deeper than good is better than bad, but what she does do is get inside her characters and write them with an amazing level of empathy that allows her readers to learn, grow, and live with them. That is is her substance. Empathy. She doesn't give you a world view to live by, but she teaches children how to 'walk a mile in someone elses shoes'.




Livluv, I am almost finished with the subtle knife. dependening on what the mrs. has on the schedule, I may start the third book tonight.
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Old 02-13-2006, 07:08 PM   #30
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I would agree with that, but I think you and I may have different criteria for 'great substance'. Without a doubt the substance of a Lewis or Pullman novel will be philosophy (theology in this case). They both do philosophy very well, what they don't do well is empathy. I am struck, while reading their novels, how one dimensional many of their characters are. That makes sense, however, when you realize that their purpose in writing is to purporte a certain belief or system of beliefs.

I think Rowling offers a different sort of content. She is very light in philosophy, but very high in empathy. She does not write to anything much deeper than good is better than bad, but what she does do is get inside her characters and write them with an amazing level of empathy that allows her readers to learn, grow, and live with them. That is is her substance. Empathy. She doesn't give you a world view to live by, but she teaches children how to 'walk a mile in someone elses shoes'.


And that in itself is quite commendable. Therefore I believe that we can agree that without the ability to marry empathy/ base humanity and complex morality within the constraints of a narrative of some form, a novelist cannot be considered great in a universal sense.

(In regards to Pullman, philosophy without its human basis and indeed origin ceases to exist and to that end he’s shot himself in the foot.)

Although in saying that; that would be something that a person attempting to write a work of fiction (a novel of sorts) should strive towards.

We haven’t an argument at all to be honest.

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